Please provide a response to the following posts.
Chapter two concepts in regards to al-Zawahiri:
What and how a person behaves is a direct correlation as to what a person believes. According to Cottam, ?operational codes are constructs representing the overall belief systems of leaders about the world?. (Cottam, et al. 2010) When the code is broken down into its baser parts, it is that blending of nature and nurture within the subconscious self that dictates how a person interprets and responds to any given stimuli.
In the book, The Road to Al-Qaeda, a history and characterization is given of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri by the author, Montasser al-Zayyat, a man who lived in the same world as Zawahiri and knew him personally. (al-Zayat 2004) The operational code that helped to shape Zawahiri is seen first by the environment that he was born into, then secondly how those initial beliefs shifted by the environment that he moved to when he left Egypt and settled in Afghanistan. The move was precipitated by a shock to perhaps one of Zawahiri?s most personal codes of conduct when he was forced to betray a leader he held in great esteem, Esam al-Qamari, while being tortured, which lead to the leaders arrest and eventual martyrdom. (al-Zayat 2004) While the Muslim community and those that were closest to him, even al-Qamari, did not blame him for this betrayal understanding the duress he was under, Zawahiri could not seem to ever forgive himself for this breach of his personal code. According to al-Zayatt, this seemed to be when Zawahiri turned from seeking peaceful solutions, or at least being open to them, to the need for violent actions as the means for his instrumental beliefs against those that did not hold to his philosophical beliefs. (al-Zayat 2004) Egypt was the starting point for these aggressions, but once Zawahiri joined with Osama bin-Laden, his sights turned towards the United States , rejecting all his earlier proselytizing of fighting the ?near enemy? as the means of spreading Islam.
Need for Power
This concept is just one of many beneath the theory of leader traits or motive theroies, and seems self-explanatory. In truth, there are a variety of power needs and how different leader utilize the type of power they seek. As defined by Cottam, need for power is ?a personality trait involving a concern for impact and prestige?. (Cottam, et al. 2010) Effective need for power is balanced however, by the ability to garner such power without seeking aid from others. (Leadership 2008)
In al-Zayatt?s book, he describes how this need for power shifted effectiveness through Zawahiri?s writings in his early years, or pre- bin Laden years, to when he moved to join with Osama. Zawahiri transitioned from the leader of the Islamic Jihad to the second behind Osama bin-Laden as his views shifted. Al-Zayatt posits that this was probably due to his need to leave Egypt over the guilt of betraying al-Qamari, and living in the war entrenched Afghanistan. There is also that which is at the root of most all power struggles, and that is money. Money had become scarce after so many defeats against the Egyptians, especially after so many of his group were arrested in the aftermath of these defeats. Osama, with his vast resources, was a logical solution to Zawahiri?s problems. An interesting side note that makes one think for a moment, is that al-Zayyat describes Osama as a priest, and was seeking peaceful means until spending time with Zawahiri. There is the possibility that Osama was merely the charismatic, deep pockets front man that the strategic Zawahiri manipulated to his way of thinking. If this was the case, then perhaps Zawahiri remained within that leadership role, though shifting from an open affective leader who attained his need for power with the needs of the people in the forefront of his mind, to the type of leader who?s need for power consumed him to the point of lashing out against any who opposed his way of thinking as he did against al-Zayyat and in ways that even by his own kind seemed to go too far, as in the killing of the 15 year old boy in front of his father. (Cottam, et al. 2010)
Need for Achievement
Another concept beneath the motive theories umbrella is the need for achievement. This concept is defined as a person ?concern with excellence and task accomplishment?. (Cottam, et al. 2010) It is a means of validation by which to judge the standard and worthiness of one?s life. It can directly affect what choices a person makes, whether it is for the greater good, or as a way to alleviate inner feelings of self-loathing.
Self-loathing is a key factor that seemed to drive Zawahiri towards his need for violent retribution against those that made him compromise his personal code, as discussed above, which was at first the ?near enemy?, Egypt, then to what he considered the heart of the beast or the ?far enemy?, the United States. Al-Zayyat makes the distinction and refers back to it often that the man Zawahiri was before his time in prison and the torture he suffered there, was not the same man who emerged, indeed his whole personality seemed to change, especially the more time he spent in his self-imposed exile to Afghanistan. (Cottam, et al. 2010) In his need to achieve his end goal of an Islamic nation ruled by shari?a law, the affects on the Islamic community as a whole was not taken into consideration. His personal needs outweighed the needs of the community.
Chapter three concepts and al-Zawahiri:
This concept utilizes information that the person inherently is aware of to process the most likely of outcomes to any given situation. This can be based on past experiences of outcomes in similar situations, or an educated guess on what the person can imagine to be the outcome. Cottam describes availability heuristics as one of the most important of the variety of heuristics, or ?mental shortcuts? in how we perceive others. (Cottam, et al. 2010)
An example of how using the availability heuristic can fail or backfire is the bombing of the New York city trade towers on September 11, 2001. Bombings are nothing new in the world of Zawahiri, and had been employed on numerous occasions and with success as with the embassies in Nairobi and Darussalam, the American military bases in Riyadh and Al-Khubar, and the USS Cole. (Cottam, et al. 2010) What previous experience did not account for and what Zawahiri failed to imagine was the multiplied response by the US Government and its people when he struck on US soil as opposed to some far off place that did not fully capture the attention of the US public in their day to day lives. Unlike in most middle eastern countries, the US was not used to a life filled with the real possibility of being shot or bombed on a daily basis, so at that time when embassies or ships were bombed, it was with the understanding that it was ?over there? and those people chose to put them in a position of danger, such as on Naval ship or in an embassy in a hostile area. Zawahiri miscalculated the response of the United States by relying on past responses what he imagined the outcome would be, or so al-Zayyat surmises. (Cottam, et al. 2010)
There is a hierarchy of groups that we all belong too. We all belong to the human race, whether we like it or not. Then it breaks down by region and religion, race and even what sex you are born. Most of the larger groups we are born in to, and they help to shape our beliefs of what give us self-worth and fulfillment. In-groups are those groups that we belong to, and out groups are simply, those groups we do not belong to. A person is judged by not only the group they are in, but those groups that they do not belong to, and more so by how closely related those two groups are. (Cottam, et al. 2010)
Zawahiri was born into an aristocratic family, which is a type of group, and one that allowed him the ability to study and become the scholar and doctor he became. He was also born a Muslim, a group which defined his life. Both groups combined so that he could form his own group/cell within the Islamic faith, which eventually became the Egyptian Islamic Jihad group. Even within the Islamic faith however, there were out groups that greatly affected how Zawahiri saw himself and others and how he defined his reasoning, such as the Gama?a al?Islamiyya who sought a cease fire initiative which was in opposition to his own views on how to achieve the final outcome. This out-group was vastly popular and threatened his desired role as the one to lead Islam against the infidels to be governed by Shari?a law in a world of enlightenment. (al-Zayat 2004)
Dissonance is what happens when what we say/do and our true beliefs on the subject do not fall in line with each other. As defined by Cottam, ?dissonance refers to an aversive state that results when our behavior is inconsistent with our attitudes?. (Cottam, et al. 2010) In today?s vernacular, it?s when you talk the talk but do not walk the walk.
Zawahiri created such dissonance within himself and as an extension within the Islamic community when responsibility for the embassy and other such bombings went unclaimed. Al-Zayyat states in his book that it is a point of pride and tradition to claim responsibility for actions against those that work against Islam and Shari?a law within at least a couple of hours of the action being taken. (al-Zayat 2004) By not claiming such responsibilities, even as he and Osama could not deny them, there was a backlash within his own community, and a thought that Zawahiri had compromised his principles, and the principles of Islam. So in an effort to push the cause of Shari?a and Islam, he compromised the very principles that are an integral part of the society, therefore creating tension for all.
3 Concepts from chapter two and how they relate to al-Zawahiri?
Integrative complexity is the ability to take a scenario and be able to look at it with differentiation and integration in order to bring ideas together that may be initially conflicting (Cottam 2009, 29). The ability to see another?s point of view that is different from one?s own and incorporate the two together so they harmoniously integrate into one concept elevating the synthesis of the argument. Al-Zawahiri was a studious child and read all throughout his childhood giving him a strong background in his studies. When others would present an idea to al-Zawahiri that he did not necessarily agree upon or understand he was not quick to dismiss it. Instead rather, he would listen intently to try and understand the different point of view and expand upon his knowledge (Al-Zayyat 2004, 17). When all was said and done and both sides were explained he still preferred his own opinion and continued to clash with those who did not agree with them. Al-Zawahiri was not initially trying to seek out leadership positions and put himself in a position he was not ready for. He knew he needed to absorb as much information as he could before he could rise as a leader and stand next to bin Laden.
Within the Big Three there is the Need for Power. This is the desire to fulfill a need for impact and prestige (Cottam 2009, 21). The need for power is just one of the motives that drive an individual to do what they do and make the decisions they do. Al -Zawahiri is described as a studious, tender and softhearted individual who was born into a religious Muslim family (Al-Zayyat 2004, 16). He believed that there was a need to establish an Islamic government over the current government, in order to establish this Islamic government the was going to be a movement known as Jihad in order to resist the current government with the intent of removing it altogether and replacing it with an Islamic government instead (Al-Zayyat 2004, 43). In order to achieve this al-Zawahiri believed this could be accomplished best through a coup. This would mean the minimal amount of loss of life and bloodshed to achieve their goal. Looking into al-Zawahiri?s upbringing one would question how someone raised as well as he was would follow into this path. One thing that al-Zawahiri was taught as a young child was to revolt against bad circumstances life based on their revolutionary heritage (Al-Zayyat 2004, 35). Al-Zawahiri took this literally and used it as his internal force to begin his revolt against the government and seek power.
Psychobiography involves looking into the life history of person taking into consideration one?s personal, social and political developments and experiences as they have gone through life (Al-Zayyat 2004, 17). This concept is based off the idea that people are shaped dependent on childhood socialization while looking for patterns of behavior to explain the outcomes and make predictions for those in the same or similar circumstances (Al-Zayyat 2004, 17). Al-Zawahiri was not around child who acted out, nor was he a child needing attention. He was smart, involved in his studies and was academically doing very well. But when looked further into his life and looking into those that got involved with him later on we can apply this concept better. Al-Zawahiri?s psychobiography starts to take place and unfold when he meets bin Laden. Bin Laden allowed al-Zawahiri to recreate his Jihad movement and collectively fed off of one another?s approval for violence against the foreign and domestic enemies of Islam (Al-Zayyat 2004, 11). Bin Laden gave al-Zawahiri the confidence to use force against the current government in order to put an Islamic government in the seat (Al-Zayyat 2004, 45). Al-Zawahiri was greatly influenced by bin Laden throughout the years. Bin Laden enlightened al-Zawahiri to include not only those enemies close but also those far to include the United States and Israel (Al-Zayyat 2004, 64). Initially a man with dream and desire to achieve Islam in the government was now branching out to a larger scale of terrorism due to environmental and personal influential factors. Al-Zawahiri also played a role in changing bin Laden?s goals and the two were a combined force of terrorism.
3 Concepts from chapter three and how they relate to al-Zawahiri?
Bolstering is ?selective exposure to information, as people search for information supporting their decision and avoid information that would be critical of it (Cottam 2009, 42). Al-Zayyat discusses how al-Zawahiri was selective in what he would report and write on. He directly states that al-Zawahiri chose to criticize him, al-Zayyat, for the ceasefire initiative but left his out the members of his own group who were in support of it (Al-Zayyat 2004, 79). Al-Zayyat goes on to explain how al-Zawahiri continuously contradicted him on the same topic when looking to place blame and place him in a better light than what was actual fact (Al-Zayyat 2004, 81). Al-Zayyat expressed that al-Zawahiri would twist the facts to other groups about al-Zayyat and his imprisoned leaders of the Gama?a al-Islamiyya to try and cause conflict and get the leaders to abandon al-Zayyat (Al-Zayyat 2004, 89). Al-Zawahiri was reaching beyond his means, trying to create conflict within the politics of the internal Jihad to raise himself higher as the one to take over for bin Laden.
Social identity is described as how we classify ourselves into groups as well as how we classify others into groups (Cottam 2009, 47). There are in groups and out groups. As one describes the group they are a part of that becomes the in-group and when there is a reference to someone in a group on the outside that is considered the out-group. As much conflict as there can be between in and out-groups there can also be disagreements within the in-group leading to splits within the group. In the same manner out-groups can become a part of the in-group when opinions and policies are agreed upon and groups want to join forces. One factor that can lead to in and out group conflict is just the simple idea that there is a separation and creating a dividing line and hence creating conflict that was never there to begin with but the label of in verse out created it (Cottam 2009, 47). This is further known as the us verse them and hence lines are drawn. Al-Zawahiri had drawn lines between those fighting for an Islamic government through Jihad and those against. He considered himself and his followers the ?us? and those opposed were the ?them?. Al-Zawahiri was more concerned with the battle close to home and fighting those directly connected to his cause until bin Laden showed him a new way of fighting the greater picture of who he felt were getting in his way (The United States and Israel). Al-Zawahiri continued to join groups such as the International Islamic Front for Jihad on the Jews and Crusaders expanding his group of ?us? (Al-Zayyat 2004, 71). The more groups one can get on the side of the ?us? the stronger they are against the ?them? group. In order to continue to grow this dividing line Al-Zawahiri needed to continue to convince others that there was a split and countries were against Islam. By connecting up with bin Laden he could capitalize on adding ways to discriminate against the out group by convincing those who believed in bin Laden to believe in him as well as a package deal.
Security dilemmas ?are situations in which the efforts made by one state to defend itself are simultaneously seen as threatening to its opponents, even if those actions were not intended to be threatening? (Cottam 2009, 55). The situations al-Zawahiri put his people in along with bin Laden after September 11 can relate to this. The US needed to go to war to protect its people which in turn led to bombings and fighting on Afghanistan soil and innocent people were caught in the cross-fire. Al-Zawahiri and bin Laden put innocent children and families in the way of American bombs (Al-Zayyat 2004, 98). This caused anger and led more people to fight against the Americans to try and protect their own families. They did not necessarily agree with al-Zawahiri but all they could see was America attacking and they needed to protect their families. This leads to spiral conflicts as both sides begin an arms race and aggression builds (Al-Zayyat 2004, 98). This worked in the favor of al-Zawahiri and against the US as he now had additional fighters for him which he never counted on before. All the attacks al-Zawahiri was behind has only led to more bloodshed and more lives lost. He has put the people and the country he claims in the path of destruction and has forced them to fight on his behalf for fear of their own lives. The US had to attack Afghanistan to defend itself. The intent to kill innocent people was never there, but in order for the US to protect themselves against the Taliban and al-Qaeda war erupted and in order for innocent civilians to protect themselves they had to fight as well for fear of the Taliban and al-Qaeda would hurt them if they did not fight on their behalf.
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